• 05 May 2010
    On this page you can find a scan of the first page of the first set of notes which I wrote up for Hell’s Horizon, back in September 1995 when I started work on the first draft of the book. As you’ll see, this was a VERY different beast to the finished novel! In the beginning I didn’t have any great plans for the story. It was meant to be a bit of a fun, a learning exercise more than anything else. I liked detective novels, writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane, and I wanted to write a book in that mould, fast, trashy, vulgar, full of wisecrack comments. I found out, through writing, that I wasn’t any good at those types of stories, and the book ended up undergoing a transformation to become something in my own personal style. But this is how it was initially conceived back in those early days of my career.

    It's interesting to compare these notes with the notes I wrote up for Ayuamarca. As you’ll see, as brief as this plot outline is, it’s still a lot more detailed than those I jotted down for Ayuamarca. I was beginning to realise that the more work I put into a book in advance, the easier it would be to write. I ended up writing loads more pages of notes for this book before I was done with it — in fact I think I probably learnt more about the plotting process from my work on Hell’s Horizon than I did on any other novel. This was a HUGE book for me, in terms of learning and developing and finding my own style and voice.
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